Saalumarada Thimmakka

Saalumarada Thimmakka

Indian Environmentalist

एकान्तविध्वंसिषु मद्विधानां पिण्डेष्वनास्था खलु भौतिकेषु (Raghuvansham II.57)

For people like me, who are destined to perish (being human), there is little regard for material mass

One more of the hallmarks of a Leader is enunciated here by Pandit Kalidas, in his imposing Leadership chronicle – that of the Leader considering his/ her body as an instrument to accomplish one’s purpose.

The Leader, while being infinitely concerned about his/ her people, takes away attention from one’s person (not to be understood as neglecting one’s health/ development) but puts all energy into meaningful effort!

Saalumarada (meaning row of trees) Thimmakka, also an Indian environmentalist from Karnataka, received a Padmashri for her work in planting and tending to 385 banyan trees along a four-kilometre stretch of highway between Hulikal and Kudur besides 8000 other trees. Almost committing suicide once for not bearing her child, she found solace in planting trees thereafter, with the support of her husband. Neither penury nor problems nor physical age could prevent her from this purpose, for over 50 years (she is now 110). Such is the influence through her incredible work that the Karnataka government reconsidered a road widening project due to her request. Her endeavours have drawn attention from around the world, fetching her awards, titles (even an honorary doctorate) and endless supporters – all because of her decision to move attention from self to environment. Altruistic Leadership!

Towards what purpose are you directing your mind, bodily energy and soul?